Little Cayman is small and low-lying with large areas of dense mangrove swamps, ponds, lagoons and lakes. The diving is excellent. Underwater visibility averages 100-150 ft all year. Bloody Bay wall, a mile-deep vertical drop, is one of the major dive sites worldwide and is highly rated by marine biologists and photographers.
The first inhabitants of Little Cayman were turtlers who made camp on the southshore. After them, at the beginning of the 20th century, the population exploded to over 100 Caymanians living at Blossom on the southwest coast and farming coconuts. Attacks of blight killed off the palms and the farmers moved to the other two islands. In the 1950s, some US sport fishermen set up a small fishing camp on the south-coast known as the Southern Cross Club, which is still in operation today as a diving/fishing lodge. A handful of similar small resorts and holiday villas have since been built but the resident population remains tiny.
Little Cayman’s swamps, ponds, lagoons and lakes make an ideal habitat for red-footed boobies and numerous iguanas. Booby Pond Nature Reserve attracts about 3,500 nesting pairs of red-footed boobies and 100 pairs of frigate birds. On the edge of the pond, the other side of the road from the museum, is the National Trust House, with an extensive veranda where you can look through a telescope or strong binoculars to watch the birds. The house is open Mon-Sat 1500-1800, but you can use the veranda any time. Further east is Tarpon Lake (small sign on road), another good spot for seeing wildlife. A boardwalk has been built out into the lake and if you are lucky you might see some tarpon in the brown water.
The beaches by the hotels on the south coast are good, with fine sand, but the swimming is marred by huge swathes of sea grass in the shallow water. Many of the other beaches around the island are more gritty, but you will have them to yourself. The best beach for swimming and snorkelling is at Sandy Point at the east-tip of the island. Look for a red and white marker opposite a pond, a sandy path leads down to the beach. Other beaches are at Jackson’s Point on the north-side and on Owen Island in South Hole Sound. This privately owned island 200yds offshore, is freely used by residents and visitors alike and is accessible by row boat or kayak. Snorkelling is good just to the west of Pirate’s Point Resort, where the water is shallow just within the reef.
Blossom is by the airstrip, and there you will find the post office. Mon-Fri 0900-1100, 1300-1500, Sat 0900-1100. Car hire, a grocery and hardware store, bank (open Wednesday) and the Little Cayman Museum. The museum is in a typical wooden house and has a small, but nicely presented, collection of local artefacts and antiques. T9481072. Free. Mon-Fri 1500-1700. Little Cayman Baptist Church is the only church. Services Sun 1100, 1930, Wed 1930.